Month: March 2017

Answers to questions

Answers to questions

I LOVE general conference! It is a time for peace for me and for my family. When the children were little, it took preparation and patience to watch all the sessions. But now the work has paid off. They all enjoy conference and are willing…

#notspecialneeds, just human needs

#notspecialneeds, just human needs

Despite the crazy cat massage, I was really touched by the message of this ad today. (I found out about it when Nate walked into our home wearing colorful, mismatched socks, and I noticed.) I graduated from university as a special educator. I had an…

Illuminate the landscape of our individual lives

Illuminate the landscape of our individual lives

The same God that placed that star in a precise orbit millennia before it appeared over Bethlehem in celebration of the birth of the Babe has given at least equal attention to placement of each of us in precise orbits so that we may, if we will, illuminate the landscape of our individual lives, so that our light may not only lead others but warm them as well.

Elder Neal A. Maxwell, That My Family Should Partake (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1974), 86.

I recently heard this quote will listening to a rebroadcast of a speech by Michelle Marchant, BYU professor of special education. I had read the quote for the first time at Christmastime, when it was printed on the tag of a star cookie cutter, given to us at a Relief Society activity.

I especially love the part that refers to God giving special care to placing us each in the “precise orbits” of our lives. As much as I can tell, God does not leave the sending of children to earth to chance. He is perfect in his timing in such important matters. We are each a deliberate, carefully placed piece in his marvelous plan.

Celebrating 175 years in recent history and 30 years of extraordinary

Celebrating 175 years in recent history and 30 years of extraordinary

I walked into my door this morning, after doing a 40 minute carpool to Eliza’s Irish dance performance this morning, just in time to try to help Anna finish up her macarons to take to school. I hadn’t made her a lunch, and I figured…

“In the name of God, do your duty.”

“In the name of God, do your duty.”

Reading a book as a teenager is not the same experience as reading (or listening to) it as a person in her late 40’s. Wow, this book is something! Right off, I must say that there is a ton of profanity in this book, and that the…

Late quick dinner: lime ginger chicken surprise

Late quick dinner: lime ginger chicken surprise

Tonight at 5:30 pm I said a prayer to ask for help figuring out what to make for dinner. It had been one of those days and one of those weeks when I didn’t get meals planned for the week or the day and wondered what I could make at this late hour with my low blood sugar and blank mind.

I peeled an orange and, while eating the sections, surveyed what was in the fridge.

I noticed some good items:

  • hazelnut 12-grain bread from Kneaders
  • baby “creamer” red and white potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts

I put the bread in a basket and sent it with willing hands to the table. I was grateful that the table was already set. That’s why I set the table in the morning when I empty the dishwasher. It means that at least one part of dinner is ready when it comes time to make it.

Then I started some water boiling in a pot and rinsed the baby creamer potatoes. Once the water was boiling, I dumped them in and turned to the Brussels sprouts.

Anna loves them, and so after I turned on the broiler on high and rinsed the mini cabbages, together we chopped off the little ends. Then she put them in a mixing bowl, poured some olive oil over them, and tossed them in it. Then she pulled out 4 baking sheets (well, 1, but 3 fell on the floor in a loud racket that surprised us all) and poured the Brussels sprouts on the baking sheet. She salted the Brussels sprouts and we put the tray into the oven.

Then I got some frozen chicken tenderloins out and rinsed them. I pulled out a bottle of Boar’s Head Deli Dressing and poured some in the bottom of the frying pan, turning it to high. I zested a lime, sliced it in half, and juiced half the lime into the pan. After adding the chicken, I covered the chicken with a lid. After a few minutes, I turned down the heat to medium high, added the lime zest around the pan as well as perhaps a tablespoon of minced ginger, and let it cook for a few minutes before covering it again. I cooked the chicken for maybe 5 more minutes or so. Then I added some mini carrots to the pan and covered it.

After cooking it for perhaps 5 minutes more, I turned off the heat. By then the potatoes had finished, and I had drained and added some butter, salt and pepper.

The sprouts were done after 10 minutes under the broiler. I turned off the oven and left them in so they would stay hot. When the chicken was done, we put everything into serving bowls and ate.

I called the chicken was “lime ginger surprise” because the deli dressing, and just because recipes with the word “surprise” in the name always crack me up. I got a few smiles to match the name.

And you have to say surprise “soo-prize.”

My prayer was answered. A yummy meal resulted, and we had a nice visit together while enjoying a hot meal.

We heeded them not

We heeded them not

I just finished recording 1 Néphi 8 in French as part of my goal to read aloud and record the Book of Mormon in French this year. I read the chapter first in English and then aloud in French. How grateful I was to read it…

Too Many Mangos: A Story about Sharing

Too Many Mangos: A Story about Sharing

Some people collect spoons when they travel. I collect children’s books. When we were waiting at the airport in Honolulu last week to catch a flight to Kona, I visited a book store and found this darling story. A grandfather notices that his tree is…

Welcome March!

Welcome March!

I LOVE MARCH! March is the green month, and boy do we love green here in Utah after the cold days of white, brown, and gray. Green is SO revitalizing! I just returned from a trip to Hawaii which was FULL of green. I couldn’t help but think of how the Psalmist said the Lord “maketh me to lie down in green pastures” (Psalm 23:2). Of course! No one wants to lie down in a brown pasture, really–not when there is soothing green grass to rest upon.

What a delight it was to come home yesterday to see the sun shining so warmly, the snow so melted away, and the grass underneath beginning to green up in the sunshine! And then the bulbs in my front flower garden are all poking up. In a few weeks, we will be colored in color again. Joy and rejoicing!

I returned home to find that the child who had been asked to water my potted plants forgot. Completely understandable. I hadn’t left any reminders, and no one noticed them withering away. But thankfully they didn’t die! The shamrocks were close, and the hydrangea (remember the one that almost died the second day I had it?) nearly didn’t make it, and my gardenia were heading that direction. I did some serious pruning on the hydrangea and am praying that it will stay alive long enough to be able to be transplanted into the yard. I soaked them with water yestereday and today have brought them out into the sun to begin hardening them off for outside transplanting. I really hope the hydrangea makes it: those pink blooms were gorgeous while they lasted.

As I weeded and watered a little yesterday, I was reminded of the lesson that bulbs teach us about the law of the harvest: if you spend the energy to plant the bulbs when the time is right, then you may enjoy years of flowers in springs to come. I am particularly enjoying the fruits of my labors as a young mother and even earlier this year, in so may ways.

I’m not talking papayas

One of the fruits I enjoyed while on my trip to Hawaii was being able to leave the children under the supervision of one of my college-age children, and, for the most part and in a very admirable way, they continued on with their chores and responsibilities at home and at school. They even got along! Sometimes it is hard work nurturing those habits as a mother, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. But it is so worth the effort! Lane and I were perhaps the most relaxed ever on our trip because we knew that things were taken care of at home.

And those mini daffodils and mini pansies: oh they are such a joy. So bright and cheerful and tiny.

Welcome March, and welcome spring!

 

 

Faces

Faces

In an attempt to help one of my daughters find a photo for her student council election poster, my husband and I were looking through loads of family photos on his computer. Here are some gems we found: Easter Parade, circa 2006 (Where is Sarah, we…